Ghana Prisons Service commercialising projects laudable idea

The Ghana Prisons Service has earnestly started implementing its goal of repositioning itself to reflect the current needs of the country.


The announcement by its management at the annual Regional Commanders conference in Accra last Thursday that apart from its core mandate of ensuring safe custody and welfare of prisoners to maintain public safety, it had also taken concrete steps to become a major contributor to the nation's food basket is pleasing.

The service has also conceived the idea of commercialising and retooling all its workshops and taking agriculture to the next level.

It is, among other activities, securing funding for its mechanised agriculture to contribute significantly to the food basket of the nation (Daily Graphic, Friday, April 14, 2023.)

The Daily Graphic is urging the service to sustain those goals and vision, so that other government agencies will emulate the example.

There have been many calls on metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs), as well as other public institutions, to find innovative ways of getting internally generated funds (IGFs), as the prisons service wants to do.

When that is meticulously carried out, it will enhance the service’s viability and contribution to the economy, since it is becoming clear that the government alone cannot continue to do everything.

The global economy is gradually shrinking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, both of which have implications for nations such as Ghana.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook, the baseline forecast for growth was to fall from 3.4 per cent in 2022 to 2.8 per cent in 2023, before settling at 3.0 per cent in 2024.

Advanced economies are expected to see an especially pronounced growth slowdown, from 2.7 per cent in 2022 to 1.3 per cent in 2023.

In a possible alternative scenario, with further financial sector stress, global growth was expected to decline from about 2.5 per cent in 2023, with advanced economy growth falling below one per cent, the IMF World Economic Outlook further indicated.

These projections have implications for the country and the earlier public institutions started becoming innovative, the better it would be for the institutions and the citizenry.

It is for this reason that the paper thinks the decision by the prisons service to chart a new course to become more viable and contribute to enhancing food security in the country must be applauded.

The commercialisation of agriculture will ultimately help supplement the food intake of the inmates and make the service stand on its feet to be able to meet its needs without waiting on the government for support.

The service, apart from its legal mandates set out by the 1992 Constitution and other statutory provisions, has a vision and mission to build a world-class service to attain sustainable public safety through excellence in corrections management and to undertake the safe custody, humane treatment, reformation, rehabilitation and re-integration of inmates to make them responsible, productive and law-abiding citizens to ensure public safety.

It is gratifying to note that the service is taking deliberate steps to modernise its operations to make it financially viable.

It is worthy to note that other goals set out by the service to reposition itself to contribute more meaningfully to the nation's development are modernisation of its management practices and administrative structures, modernisation of staff recruitment, manpower planning and development, as well as work practices, and modernisation of the physical structures and operational equipment.

The paper hopes that the bold step by the service will not be a nine day’s wonder, for, as the saying goes: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”

The prisons service has taken the first step and sustained efforts must be made to achieve the targets.

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